Ed Wood

Plan Kind From Hollywood

Main Cast: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Jeffrey Jones, Sara Jessica Parker

Director: Tim Burton

It’s ironic that a dramatized biography of the “worst direction of all time” in Hollywood is so good, and so kind to its subject. It almost makes me want to rethink my stand on some of his films. Almost. But not quite. They’re still crap.

The film focuses on two of Ed Wood, Jr.’s top films, Glen or Glenda? and the classic Plan Nine From Outer Space. The first was the director’s breakthrough, if that word could be used. It was also very personal, as it followed the story of a man who liked to wear women’s clothing, especially angora sweaters, which he loved. In the movie, Ed Wood is constantly telling people about his fetish, and it finally drives away his first girlfriend (Parker). But his second, a sunny and kind woman, doesn’t seem to mind his foibles. It sounds so bizarre it must be true. and in this case, it is.

The plot of this movie rolls along with Wood’s life, which intersects with the great Bela Lugosi (Landau). Washed up and past his prime, he is a touching figure, and their friendship was quite real. Wood also gathers a number of eccentric figures into his fold, including a wrestler, the mystic Criswell (Jones), and Vampira herself. All were cast as roles in Plan Nine, Wood’s epic.

As played by Depp, Wood comes across as a likeable figure, oblivious most of the time, widely optimistic, ever cheerful. He never has more than one take on any scene because, well, the first was perfect! Why mess with that? Also, of course, he probably couldn’t afford the actual film.

All in all very enjoyable. Wood’s friendship with Lugosi is the meat of the film, and it works. All powerful and strong performances, and the subject matter is amusing. as long as you don’t have to actually see one of Wood’s films.

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